The Best Restaurants In Silver Lake guide image


The Best Restaurants In Silver Lake

21 great spots to find sushi, jamón, ceviche, and more in Silver Lake.

The golden hills of the trendy people are a very special place. Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers owns a Music Conservatory here, almost everything smells like Aesop soap, and the ghost of the happy foot/sad foot sign holds immense local superstition (RIP). Luckily, this tiny, very hilly neighborhood also is overflowing with fantastic restaurants. Here’s our list of the best of them.



If you’re someone who enjoys food trucks, mariscos, and/or eating sweet and spicy dishes, you will likely be very into Simón. The chef comes from a fine dining background in Oaxaca, which shines through in various ceviches and things like a barbacoa octopus taco. If we had to pick a highlight it would be the aguachile negro, which comes with an inky black sauce that’s silky, a bit sweet, and properly punchy. We also love that Simón has its own refrigerated self-serve salsa cabinet. They offer five different housemade options and if you're not sure which one to try, the jar labels provide taco pairing suggestions.

Located in the former Eszett space, The Ruby Fruit is a fun natural wine spot that also happens to be LA's first lesbian bar in about a decade. There's a tiny wrap-around bar and a handful of tables inside, but the party spills out onto the sidewalk and even the parking lot on a nightly basis. It’s especially nice at lunch, when this slightly less busy strip mall spot serves some excellent brunch-y dishes like a mortadella, egg and cheese on a salty, pretzel bagel that’s chewy and a little crispy, as well as some proper lunch options like loaded curly fries and an open-faced tuna melt topped with a handful of chips.

This maximalist Indian fusion sports bar offers stimulation with a capital S. There are three giant flatscreen TVs on each wall showing any sporting match you could imagine and the dining room uses mid-century modern furniture and neon lights in a way that reminds us of a vintage arcade. Plus, the food is just fun. Thin-crust pizzas come topped with saag gravy. Wings are doused in masala and Kashmiri red chilis. Our favorite dishes here are the pastas, though—don't miss the shells and cheese or the malai rigatoni. Come here to watch a game (duh), but also for casual hangs with friends who want to eat something interesting and delicious.

Eating at Ceviche Project feels like dropping into a Miami club in the ’80s: it’s tropical, there’s flair, and you’re definitely going to have fun. Grab a seat at the marble bar and enjoy vibrant scallops off the half shell, tai snapper ceviche, and their kanpachi tostada—a stunning dish topped with so much trout roe, yellowfish, and avocado cream, it almost reaches all the way to heaven.

The party-like energy at this upscale Spanish spot hits you the second you walk in—you’ll spot friends and coworkers hovering over round wooden tables eating canned fish and swapping today’s best drama and a walk-in-only bar area that starts popping by 6:30pm every night. It’s the kind of place you might roll into on a weeknight for silky egg salad and pan con tomate, and accidentally stay for three hours because there’s an entire gin martini section on the menu. Bar Moruno is fun, a little kitschy, and feels as close to a tapas bar in Barcelona as you’ll get in LA.

The Cubano at El Cochinito isn’t just the best in Silver Lake, or even the city—according to the International Cuban Sandwich Festival, it’s the best in the entire world. The family-run joint took first place in the Miami-based competition back in 2018 and hasn’t skipped a beat since then, consistently serving some of our favorite Cuban dishes in the city. You’ll want the pollo empanizado: breaded chicken breasts that have been pan-fried and hit with a hefty lime squeeze. You’ll also want the ropa vieja, that aforementioned sandwich, and definitely a tropical guanabana smoothie. What we’re trying to say is, bring a friend.

There was a time when Alimento was one of the hardest tables to get in Los Angeles. And for good reason—the chicken liver crostone alone was enough to get us to willingly drive from Venice to Silver Lake on a Friday afternoon. And while the food is as good as it’s ever been, Alimento has relaxed into "Nice Neighborhood Restaurant" territory. You won't have any trouble walking in tonight for a glass of wine and a plate of their pork radiatori (which we think should win some sort of award).

This Vietnamese restaurant is the nighttime alter ego of Silver Lake's All Day Baby, and if you arrived during the daytime, you might not have any idea it exists. But after trying inventive dishes like their fried red snapper served over spicy green curry, jidori chicken liver pâté, and chicken wings tossed in a smoky salsa macha, Tet-A-Tet might become your new go-to dinner option. This creative Vietnamese spot is casual but still fun enough for a boozy friend hang or a date you actually want to last a while.

The second location of the massively popular Thai joint might not have the part-time setting and beer towers like its original Sunset Strip locale, but its kitschy feel is the perfect match for Silver Lake. This is some of the finest Thai food in the city, in a casual setting suited for almost anything, just be sure to order the larb and plenty of natural wine to wash it all down.

Like a hardworking backpacker climbing Mt. Fuji, this cozy neighborhood spot has slowly made its way to the top of our list of best restaurants in the area. Of course, the oysters are spectacular (creamy and briny, like someone hand-delivered them from the ocean), but they’ve also got a solid burger, cobb salad heavy with bacon bits, and a smoked fish dip that comes with crackers made in-house. There’s an upstairs space with a limited menu and Happy Hour specials, and they’ve also taken over the sidewalk out front where well-dressed couples always seem to be sipping white negronis and smiling from ear-to-ear.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this American comfort food restaurant lives up to its name. You’ll find them in a bright-red building on Sunset Blvd., slinging hot catfish sandwiches and breakfast burritos the size of newborn babies in the morning then oyster pot pies and NY strip steaks at night. They also offer special dessert orders, like whole chocolate pudding pies, cinnamon rolls slathered with labneh frosting, and banana bread loaves—as we said, they really do it all.

We’re as tired as you of this whole “NYC vs. The Rest of the World” debate when it comes to bagel-making, so we’ll skip straight to the point: Maury’s bakes a damn good bagel. Operating out of a red-brick building in a more residential part of Silver Lake, this takeout-only spot serves bagels that are pliable and chewy, plus a whole bunch of cured fish options for every breakfast aficionado in your friend group. The buttery black cod goes perfectly with cream cheese, there’s a $22 version piled high with lox and wasabi tobiko, as well as a traditional smoked salmon bagel sandwich that’s satisfyingly simple.

This shoe box-sized Cantonese restaurant on Sunset serves inventive dishes like salted egg yolk french toast and pork chop buns in a casual dining room that’s perfect for a low-key lunch or brunch. Needle’s small menu of Hong Kong-inspired brunch food is available from 11-5pm daily, and between the tiny dining room and small sidewalk patio, they're only about a dozen tables in total. It’s hard to go wrong here, but the must-order dish is the char siu bun. The plump and juicy pork patty is grilled over charcoal, glazed in honey, and then served on fluffy milk bread.

The team behind local taqueria chain Guisados is responsible for this walk-up mariscos stand on Sunset Blvd. Although the menu here is pretty compact, you still have a good number of options—flour or corn tortillas, shrimp or fish tacos, whether to rip into the bag as soon as it’s ready or wait until you get to the table like a civilized person, etc. Both shrimp and fish tacos are beer-battered to perfection, made with a proper crunch, and their seafood-packed campechana is the ideal snack while strolling around the neighborhood.

We first became obsessed with La Sorted’s brick-oven pizza as a pop-up. These days, you’ll find them at a takeout window in Silver Lake. Maybe it’s the brick-and-mortar digs, or the power that comes with being so close to Dodger Stadium, but this iteration of La Sorted's (like Lasorda, get it?) has earned a place in the LA pizza pantheon as well as our stomachs. The crust is perfectly chewy and bubbly, and toppings range from burrata to artichoke pesto to giardiniera. Our top pick is the “Spicy, But Oh, So Sweet Boy,” a version of the now-ubiquitous pepperoni and hot honey combo set off with Fresno chiles and fresh garlic.

For decades, this counter-service cafe has been serving Cuban coffee, pastelitos, and sandwiches on Sunset Blvd. And the only thing that changed after the El Cochinito team took over in 2019 was the pastel paint job. You can still drop by as early as 7am for a strong cortadito, blueberry coconut bun, or the cafe’s signature pastry: a guava cheese turnover. It comes with a deep golden crust with tiny specks of guava paste bursting out from the flaky dough. It’s creamy, sweet, slightly tart, and our ideal way to start the day.

This lively Greek spot in Silver Lake (formerly Freedman’s) feels like a remnant of summer that never left. The dining room is adorned with miniature Greek busts, vines dangle everywhere, and there’s a blue and white patio in the parking lot that—at least after a few bottles of Greek wine—starts to feel like a terrace in Mykonos. Order the feta-stuffed phyllo pocket, juicy lamb chops, and the correctly advertised “very lemony” potatoes.

Whenever we’re feeling nutrient-deprived and haven’t closed a ring on our fitness tracker in, like, forever, we head to Botanica. Located in a big, bright space on Silver Lake Blvd., a meal here feels like dining in a highly-curated Instagram feed in the best way possible. It’s life but as we wish we lived it all the time, where light streams in from the windows, gorgeous melons are sprinkled with feta and just-picked mint leaves, and crudite platters look as if constructed by Michelangelo.

Spoon & Pork treats pork like Bowen Yang treats airtime on Saturday Night Live: as an opportunity to steal the spotlight. This Filipino spot serves all sorts of dishes honoring the all-sacred pig, including adobo pork belly, chorizo burgers, pork belly bánh mì, and more. But the star of the show here is the massive patita: a tender, sweet, spicy, and very garlic-heavy pork shank dish that’s slow-roasted and then deep-fried. Could it last you three meals? Maybe. Will you finish it in one? Probably.

Despite having the word “omakase” in its name, the omakase isn't a required activity at this fun, casual sushi bar from the Izakaya Osen people. You can come to this blonde wood-lined space on Sunset and order everything a la carte, which is good news if you aren’t up to dropping $150 per person. We love the hefty hand rolls filled with things like baked king crab, fried eggplant, and white fish with truffle, as well as the miso crab salmon from the “cold signatures” section. Five giant clumps of snow crab are wrapped in salmon sashimi and drizzled with truffle oil and miso dressing. Is it silly and a bit over the top? Sure, but it's also incredibly tasty.

Since its inception back in the 1960s, Casita Del Campo has remained one of the most reliable places in Silver Lake to have a good time. The classic Mexican restaurant—and historic queer nightlife institution—serves a wide-ranging menu of enchiladas, burritos, sizzling fajitas plates, and margaritas so strong, they should come with an FDA warning. They’ve also transformed their parking lot into a beautiful, expansive patio, complete with brightly colored potted plants, string lights overhead, and more than enough space for birthday parties.

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photo credit: Jakob Layman

The Best Restaurants In Silver Lake guide image